Allen West was born in Beirut, Lebanon in 1930, and came to the U.S.
with his family after the 1941 invasion of Greece by Germany. Educated
at Phillips Academy and Princeton University, he served three years in
the U.S. Army, then earned a PhD in chemistry from Cornell University in
1960. He taught at Williams College and Lawrence University until
1994, when he and his wife Emily moved to Cambridge, Massachusetts.
While there he was a tutor at Cambridge Rindge & Latin High School
and a volunteer at Recording for the Blind & Dyslexic. His wife died
in 1999, his son in 2014. He has two daughters and three grandchildren.
Since 2007 he has lived in Lexington, Massachusetts. He began writing
poetry in 1983, was a runner-up for the 1992 Grolier Poetry Prize, and won the 2000 chapbook competition of the White Eagle Coffee Store Press, which published The Time of Ripe Figs in 2002. His full-length poetry collection, Beirut Again, was published in 2010 by Off the Grid Press. Holder interviewed West on his Somerville Media Center TV show "Poet to Poet Writer to Writer"